On Thursday, TopOfTheCops revealed exclusively to the world how one of Britain's most senior judges had decided to do what Parliament had not, and ban magistrates from standing as Police and Crime Commissioners.
TopOfTheCops readers at the Local Government Association criticised the direction as nonsensical.
TopOfTheCops readers who are standing for PCC positions banded together across parties to write a letter of protest to the judge, backed by legal advice sought by Lincolnshire Independent candidate Mervyn Barrett.
And the judge backed down.
Because some magistrates had declared their candidacy before the direction was made he “would not press” them to resign – just take a leave of absence during the campaign.
More needs to be done. The signatories to the letter will meet the judge on Wednesday to press for more. It's likely they will press for the ban on magistrates serving on Police and Crime Panels to be lifted. Perhaps magistrates should be allowed to do the normal campaigning behaviour of party activists. Whether any will press for successfully elected PCCs to remain on the bench remains to be seen. My own view is that the separation of powers can be taken too far. A morning once a fortnight seeing local crime from a magistrate's perspective may be a very useful experience for a PCC.
Maybe there will be a bit of 'no decision about us without us' in response to the lack of consultation before this edict.
So this was a tiny victory for TopOfTheCops readers, and a lot remains to be changed. But while it was a tiny victory, it was also an important precedent. Having overstepped the mark, a senior judge found himself answering to press and public, almost precisely the fear that motivates the judiciary around judicial independence.
Ironically the judge who said that magistrates, holding judicial office, should not meet PCC candidates, will now be meeting PCC candidates himself.
Nowhere is it written that PCCs have such powers to change a judicial ruling, still less the people who are merely candidates for the post, but here we see the beginnings of officials bowing to influence rather than formal powers, and this to people who don't yet have the mandate of millions behind them
Just imagine what it will be like when they are the real thing.